Linux User Group of Mauritius Promoting open source software in our beautiful island

6Oct/170

How to reduce the amount of disk space used by the systemd journal

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

We, Linux people, generally use systemd now and one of its components is the journal controlled by the journalctl command line tool.

As explained on the Arch wiki,

systemd has its own logging system called the journal. The /var/log/journal/directory is a part of the systemd package and the journal will write to /var/log/journal/

The journal is always appended and therefore grows in size. On my laptop, the journal was taking 1.8Gb of space and was full of details which, I believe, I’ll never need. So I decided to clear all old contents (which the systemd people call a vacuum). I issued:

journalctl --disk-usage
journalctl --vacuum-size=64M
journalctl --disk-usage

And the journal immediately became smaller. I then issued a

journalctl --verify

which made ma realise that some of the remaining journal files were corrupted (for some reason). There is no journal repair tool in systemd so I simply removed the offending files (with rm).

Now, I can easily check my journal entries for today and I know everything will be all fine:

journalctl --since today

21Apr/160

World Creativity and Innovation Day

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

20160421-panelists

Every 21 April, we celebrate the World Creativity and Innovation Day in Mauritius.

This year, the Mauritius Research Council organised a workshop on Creativity and Innovation and the the ICT Advisory Council, which I preside, was given a slot of 30 minutes. I quickly prepared a few slides like I like them to be (beautiful, memorable and witty) and I asked Logan Velvindron and Ish Sookun, both members of the ICT Advisory Council, to join me in a panel on Creativity and Innovation among Youth.

20160421-albert-einstein

The first topic was about having fun when learning and creating. I mentioned that school and teachers can be boring, especially in our age of having Wikipedia and YouTube in our pockets. I said that it was time for our education system to become fun again, where young people can enjoy creating and learning a lot of new things in the process. Both Ish and Logan explained how fun they have everyday at work and how important this is for them.

20160421-steve-jobs

The second topic was about not to be afraid to be different. In Mauritius, we have a culture of conformism. Women have specific roles to play. Kids also. And, of course, everyone should remain at his place. This is bullshit! Our world is created by people who think differently and who are not afraid to take risks and disrupt existing establishments… Logan and Ish told the audience how they discovered computers, decided to become geeks and do things differently from others. They were very thankful to have supportive parents who didn’t try to impose anything on them.

20160421-linus-torvalds

The third topic was about being a geek and the value of open source software for a country like Mauritius. I explained that open source software is free and this is very important for Mauritius which is not a very rich country. But I also explained how having access to the source code of software is essential for Computer Science teachers like me to create the new generation of top programmers which Mauritius will need in the future. Young people cannot learn complex programming just by reading a book or listening to a teacher: they need to see real source code of real complex software. Logan and Ish explained how they got involved in open source software and how we all now form part of organisations such the Linux User Group of Mauritius and Hackers.mu and the value those organisations have.

20160421-sheryl-sandberg

The last topic was about being a doer rather than a talker and that aiming for perfection, while sometimes a good thing, can sometimes prevent us from achieving. This is something I have noticed over the years in Mauritius: we love our committees. Doers are not revered though. This mentality has to change. I told the audience that we are as good as anyone from anywhere, whether it is the USA or France or India. But we should stop focusing on doing speeches. We should identify small but important problems and find feasible solutions for them.

After the panel, I got a question from Anibal Martinez who is collaborating with the Government to set up an incubator. He asked me how we can solve the Computer Science education issue in Mauritius.

I told him that in the short term, a lot can be done with ad-hoc training courses, such as the ones that I provide at Knowledge Seven. But this is not a viable model for the country. In the medium to long term, state-funded universities should find a way to revamp their Computer Science departments, which are absolutely substandard at this moment, to produce an adequate number of very competent computer scientists every year. The industry is ready to move up a level but there are not enough competencies.

Thanks to Ish and Logan for participating in the panel.

4Nov/140

Pygame with Fedora and Python 3

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

20141104-pygame

I’m having some fun with pygame, a library to create games in Python.

The exact steps to follow to have pygame in Python 3 on Fedora Linux are detailed in the Python Fun blog. In essence:

  • yum install python3 python3-tools python3-devel
  • yum install SDL SDL-devel portmidi portmidi-devel ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel
  • cd /usr/lib64 && ln -s libportmidi.so libporttime.so

This takes care of all dependencies needed (minus smpeg which does not exist in recent Fedora Linux distributions). Then:

  • Get the pygame source code (e.g. hg clone https://bitbucket.org/pygame/pygame)
  • python3 config.py
  • python3 setup.py build
  • python3 setup.py install

That’s it! Test by running python3 and importing pygame.

Have fun creating games ;-)

4Nov/140

Pygame with Fedora and Python 3

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

20141104-pygame

I’m having some fun with pygame, a library to create games in Python.

The exact steps to follow to have pygame in Python 3 on Fedora Linux are detailed in the Python Fun blog. In essence:

  • yum install python3 python3-tools python3-devel
  • yum install SDL SDL-devel portmidi portmidi-devel ffmpeg ffmpeg-devel SDL_image-devel SDL_mixer-devel SDL_ttf-devel libjpeg-turbo-devel
  • cd /usr/lib64 && ln -s libportmidi.so libporttime.so

This takes care of all dependencies needed (minus smpeg which does not exist in recent Fedora Linux distributions). Then:

  • Get the pygame source code (e.g. hg clone https://bitbucket.org/pygame/pygame)
  • python3 config.py
  • python3 setup.py build
  • python3 setup.py install

That’s it! Test by running python3 and importing pygame.

Have fun creating games ;-)

24Jun/110

Thank you for making OSS2011 a success

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

OSS2011: Le Logiciel Libre, 2011 et après

Thank you to all participants for making this seminar on Open Source Software in Mauritius such a success.

All the members of the organising team (from left to right: Vara Appavoo / UoM, Ajay Ramjatan / LUGM, Begum Durgahee / UoM, Anwar Chutoo / UoM, Jayantee Gukhool / AUF, Anuja Appavoo / UoM and Avinash Meetoo / LUGM) worked really hard to get everything right. Of course, we were far from being perfect but, still, we were happy as all of us, organisers as well as the numerous participants, learned a lot during the day and met interesting people.

Special thanks to LUGM members who were present on that day especially Logan Velvindron who talked about how he has managed to mitigate the effects of denial of service attacks in OpenBSD. Special thanks also to Ajay Ramjatan who brought his own computers to demonstrate a variety of Open Source Software to the participants. His focus on multimedia software was a refreshing change from what we generally are shown during such an event.

The presentations from institutions like the MIE and UoM were very interesting as well as those from the other students (I was very impressed!) and private companies.

Of course, I loved the interactive session from 13:30 to 15:00. I had the pleasure of being the chairperson for that session and I found the discussion very lively and enriching. I loved how young people and older ones (like me…) could share the same kind of vision for our beloved country.

In three weeks, Anwar Chutoo and his team will finalise a report on the conclusions reached during the event which will then be circulated to all participants.

Once again, thanks to all who helped: organisers, presenters as well as participants.

See you all for OSS2012.

(Thanks to Irfaan Lamarque for the nice picture)

20Jun/110

OSS2011: Seminar on Linux and OSS on 22 June 2011

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

As the founder of the Linux User Group of Mauritius (LUGM), I am delighted to, once again, tell you that there will be a Seminar on Open Source Software on 22 June 2011 at the University of Mauritius.

The seminar is organised by LUGM in collaboration with the University of Mauritius and the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie and will be held at the Burrunchobay Lecture Theatre at the University of Mauritius (Google Map)

The programme for the day is as follows:

  • 09:00 – Official opening
  • 09:15 – First presentation session: Policy on OSS in Mauritius
  • 10:30 – Second presentation session: Students contributing to OSS
  • 11:15 – Third presentation session: Real world use of OSS
  • 12:00 – Lunch break
  • 13:15 – Three working sessions in parallel: (1) OSS in industry (to be chaired by myself), (2) OSS in education and (3) OSS at the level of the Government.
  • 14:30 – Synthesis of discussions held

I would be more that happy if you could participate in the seminar and contribute to the discussions based on your extensive experience on using open source software at work. More information about the event can be found on http://cse.uom.ac.mu/oss/fr

Please note that the seminar is open to everyone but, because of logistical constraints, it is important to confirm your presence by IMMEDIATELY registering at http://cse.uom.ac.mu/oss/fr/inscription_invite

I would like to thank Ajay Ramjatan of LUGM as well as Jayantee Gukhool, Director of AUF, and Anwar Chutoo, Lecturer at UoM, and his colleagues for making this seminar a reality.

Please feel free to disseminate to friends, colleagues and relatives :-)

18Jul/030

10 reasons why Linux is better than Windows for the Mauritian School IT Project

Posted by Avinash Meetoo

20030718-top-10

1) Linux is free !

Linux distributions can be obtained freely and copied at will.

2) Linux is open source !

The sources of Linux and thousands of other open source applications are readily available. Learning to build software becomes easy just by looking at those examples.

3) Linux has a community of users !

Linux is not only an operating system but also an extensive community of users willing to share experiences and support each other. The Linux User Group of Mauritius (www.linux.mu), among others, represents this community in Mauritius. Extensive user documentation created by fellow Linux users exists on the Internet (www.tldp.org).

4) Linux runs thousands of software !

A Linux distribution typically contains loads of software (e.g. Redhat Linux 9 comes with 1402 software packages) and many more can be obtained on the Internet (e.g. on www.freshmeat.net and www.sourceforge.net). Most of these software packages (e.g. productivity, graphical, educational, software development or Internet applications) are free.

5) Linux is robust, secure and efficient !

Linux has been designed to be very robust (it recovers gracefully from the whole range of exceptional situations), secure (every user can have private files and specific privileges) and efficient (it can be used on previous generation computers like 486s and Pentium I). Some very well-known companies now use Linux for their processing needs (e.g. Amazon, Google, the NASA, the CIA and even our own Mauritian Servihoo).

6) Linux is based upon open standards and open protocols !

Linux implements most open standards and open protocols including but not limited to TCP/IP, HTTP, MathML, PNG, SOAP, Web Services, XHTML, XML, XSL...

7) Linux is compatible with everything else !

Linux can easily coexist and work with all kinds of alternative operating systems systems (like Unix, Windows, MacOS...). Linux applications can also read and write files in proprietary format (like .doc or PDF). Linux can even run some Windows applications (most notably office applications).

8) Linux is an excellent environment to learn programming !

A Linux distribution comes with numerous software development environment and compilers (for C, C++, Java, Python, TCL/Tk, Fortran, Ruby...).

Java 2 Enterprise Edition is also available through the freely available J2EE implementations from Sun or JBoss. With the availability of the two leading open source databases in most distributions, PostgreSQL and MySQL, a student has all the tools required to learn to build extensive enterprise software applications.

9) Linux can be easily administered remotely !

Every computer running Linux can be administered remotely using the very secure SSH protocol. This means that all eventual maintenance and installations can be done remotely. This implies that every school need not have a local system administrator.

10) Linux is being promoted by some very well-known companies !

IBM (www.ibm.com/linux), HP (www.hp.com/linux), Oracle (www.oracle.com/linux), SAP (www.sap.com/linux), Sun (www.sun.com/linux) and other well-known companies are heavily investing and developing products for Linux.

This clearly shows their trust in Linux.

Linux is the future !

Thanks to all those who have contributed ideas and to Yash Nursinghdass in particular.

Copyright Avinash Meetoo | Published under the Gnu Free Document License